It was a real honor for me to be able to sit down and have a conversation with Church of the Nazarene General Superintendent emeritus, Dr. Jesse Middendorf. He has been a hero and mentor of mine from afar for many years and I think you will really enjoy our conversation on ministry, piloting airplanes, and the great hope that we have for the world. This episode was recorded on location at Mount Vernon Nazarene University for the 2016 Pastors and Leaders Conference, otherwise known as PALCON.
It is my great honor to be one of over a hundred leaders selected to write essays for a book called Renovating Holiness. I’m so grateful to editors, Thomas Jay Oord and Joshua Broward, not only for including me among these amazing leaders from around the world, but also for taking the time to put together such an unprecedented and needed resource for holiness denominations. In trying to figure out the best way to review a book like this with so many diverse authors, I decided the best thing to do might be to let the authors speak for themselves by including some snapshots from some of my very favorite selections of the book. I would encourage anyone to read this book but I especially would recommend it to young people who have become disheartened with the Church of the Nazarene, wondering if there is a place for them in a holiness denomination in the 21st century. I believe these essays will strengthen our journey as a follower of Christ and help us discover where we are as a denomination. As a minister in the Church of the Nazarene, I give you my highest recommendation.
These excerpts are by no means the only great parts of the book, they are simply moments that stood out to me while I was reading Renovating Holiness. I also included the first page of the essay I wrote, hoping that all of these excerpts will make you want to read more. These excerpts were written by
Brannon Hancock, Catherine Lebese, Chad Maxson, Craig Drurey, Dick Eugenio, Donnie Miller, Emily JoAnn Haynes, Frank Mills, Greg Arthur, Hank Spaulding, Jacob Lett, Jamie Gates, Janine King, Jason Rowinski, Joe Gorman, Jon Middendorf, Megan Pardue, Michael Scarlett, Myra Oomit, Nathan Napier, Rick Lee James, RJ Strickland, Rusty Brian, Ryan Patrick McGlaughlin, Ryan Scott, and Thomas Jay Oord.
You can also hear a conversation I had with editor Joshua Broward on Episode #132 of the Voices In My Head Podcast.
Younger leaders around the world are approaching holiness with new eyes, new vision, and a burning passion to help the Church engage the mission of our holy God. Renovating Holiness brings together the stories of 100 plus leaders from more than 30 nations to point towards the continuing movement of God’s Spirit in a new world, offering their thoughts on how the Church of the Nazarene can rethink it’s history, it’s doctrine, and it’s practices to be more effective in the 21st century. Rick Lee James is one of the contributors to this book and proudly welcomes Joshua to his Podcast for a discussion on holiness renovated.
FYI: We’re running some crazy cheap sales on my Books, DVDs, and CDs.
Hardcovers – $14.95 Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey through the Psalms
Paperbacks – $10.99
DVD’s – $5.99 Basement Psalms Live by Rick Lee James
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
—–Jesus, Lord or Lackey—–
Any Religion that needs to be affirmed or endorsed by a particular worldly empire or nation in order to thrive is likely a weak religion, with an impotent God, using the government as a crutch. The Kingdom of God is it’s own nationality with its own King, Jesus. It’s citizens need no government endorsement or mandate in order to thrive and be faithful. The need some Christians have to get the 10 Commandments placed on government property, to pledge allegiance to an earthly nation in a house of worship, or to mandate that prayer be led in public schools may actually stem from not believing that Jesus truly is Lord. Mandates like these render the incarnation as a fable and Jesus as a puppet ruler who needs a greater power to help Him achieve His goals. If Jesus truly is Lord then He needs no such permissions or endorsements from the world’s rulers to reign. He is either Lord or He isn’t. He is either Lord of all, right now, or He is not and never will be Lord. Mostly I think we tend to live like He isn’t because so often it seems we would rather force unbelievers to follow the rules than allow the living Jesus to transform human hearts and write new laws upon them. Those who don’t know how to love will mandate that it be given. Those who know how to love simply give it away and let it do its work. It’s like Paul is saying in the Galatians passage above, “welcome to the family” instead of “here’s a list of rules”. Those who don’t believe Jesus can change hearts will mandate that hearts be changed. Those who do believe in the lordship of Jesus will simply follow Him and let love do it’s work. Jesus is either lackey or Lord, but He is not both.
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing, glory to the newborn King.” –Charles Wesley